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Q. I have TV service. Can I replace the Actiontec completely?
A. No. The STBs and DVRs need internet connectivity to display the Program Guide and Video On Demand. Imagine at every half hour seeing the little popup on the TV screen. Instead of showing details for the show you are watching, it says Data Not Available. Video On Demand doesnt interest you? Think: not interested yet. As Verizon gets better in their marketing, they will improve their choices of little goodies to keep you a satisfied viewer. And they are adding more freebies all the time. At some point, you will change your mind, so keep the Actiontec in place for the TV data.
This is the Primary LAN-to-WAN (option 6) configuration listed in the following FAQ:
»Verizon Online FiOS FAQ »What are the tradeoffs between the various router configurations
See that FAQ for advantages and disadvantages of this and other configurations for using your own router.
Your setup will be like this:
Click to enlarge
Video from the ONT to the STBs does not change.
This connection method does not allow the MediaShare DVR to function as well as you might want. That system needs to have the PC and the DVR on the same segment of network. In other words, the MediaShare traffic cannot cross the WAN boundary. So if you have a MediaShare DVR, you need to use the LAN-to-LAN method in Replacing the Actiontec (part 4): LAN-to-LAN keeps MediaShare DVR.
You will place the Actiontec behind your primary router to complete the path for TV data. Using this connection method, the only purpose for the Actiontec is to connect the Actiontec's coax LAN to the ethernet WAN port. All other wireless and wired internet connections will be made to your primary router. Double-NAT does not seem to affect STB data including Program Guide, Widgets and VOD. Nor does it seem to affect standard traffic to other Actiontec coax LAN devices that may be connected through a MoCA bridge such as a NIM-100.
Ok, so youve verified your broadband data connection on the Actiontec is Ethernet in Replace the Actiontec (part 1): Coax to Ethernet. and youve chosen your new primary router based on performance specifications that match your service and what you want to do with it.
A. Short version: Turn off wireless (maybe), release the WAN IP, power off. Connect ethernet to WAN port on replacement router, turn it on, verify internet connectivity. Remove power to STBs and DVRs. Connect Actiontec WAN port to LAN port on replacement router, turn Actiontec on, make sure the Actiontec LAN subnet is different from your router's LAN subnet, and verify internet connectivity. Verify STBs and DVRs have data path to the internet. Tada! All done!
B. For the longer version follow these steps:
At various points in this procedure, you will need to verify certain router settings and connections. It is suggested you do this from a computer wired to the router. There are a number of problems that are related to wireless use, and you want to tackle those problems after you know you're running properly wired.
After your primary router is in place you may need to be able to check settings on the Actiontec. You can set it to allow remote administration on http port 80. Since it is behind your primary router, your exposure to vulnerabilities from the internet is reduced. Exposure to current LAN-side malware can be minimized by changing your router password to something you've chosen. You did do that already, didn't you? Don't use easy to guess passwords.
These instructions have been tested on a Rev. A Actiontec with firmware version 18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124. They are also known to work Actiontec up through Rev. E and the Westell 9100.
1. Turn off Wireless on the Actiontec if you intend to access only through your replacement router. Otherwise, set the same SSID, security and password on both routers, but set both routers on different wireless channels. Your wireless device will use the stronger signal of the two. (If you have questions about other wireless configurations, post them in the »Verizon FiOS forum). To turn off the Actiontec wireless, click on Wireless Settings icon, then click Basic Wireless Settings menu item. Click the button in item 1 to turn off radio, then scroll down and click Apply.
2. If you choose to do so for convenience, allow Remote Administration on the Actiontec. Click on Advanced icon, click Yes to allow changes, click on Remote Administration item, check Using Primary Http Port 80 under Allow Incoming Access to Wireless Broadband Router.
3. Release the IP on the Actiontec before turning it off. Click on My Network icon, then select Network Connections item. Click on Broadband Connection (Ethernet) in the table to see the properties for your WAN port. Write down the MAC address for the ethernet WAN port, you may need it later. Scroll down and click Settings. Click the Release button and your internet light on the Actiontec will go orange. If you are on PPPoE, this step does not apply to you.
4. Power off the Actiontec.
5. Next, unplug the ethernet from the Actiontec WAN port and plug it in to the WAN port on your new router. Connect your PC to a LAN port, turn on your new router and reboot your PC. When the router settles down, verify its status lights, including internet connectivity.
In the rare circumstance you do not get internet, you may have a MAC bound IP. Follow the procedures in this FAQ to release your DHCP lease.
Log in to your new router to verify and change any settings.
•Make sure your router is set to obtain it's WAN side address automatically (DHCP)
•Your router should use a different LAN subnet than the Actiontec. For example, if you left the Actiontec LAN subnet as 192.168.1.x, then change your router's LAN subnet to 192.168.0.x.
•Make sure DHCP Server is enabled on the LAN side of your router.
Start your browser, verify internet connectivity by browsing to your default page: why, its www.dslreports.com, of course.
Run a speed test. If you have already tweaked your PC, you should be getting everything you asked for. That's why I had you connect wired. Keep it simple before you go more complicated.
Tada!! You have your replacement router connected to the ONTs ethernet WAN port.
6. Turn off all your STBs and DVRs by removing power to them. Hitting the Power switch isn't enough. Unplug the power cord from the outlet.
7. Connect the WAN port of the Actiontec to a LAN port of your new router. Connect your PC to a LAN port on the Actiontec. Reboot the PC. Power on the Actiontec. When all the router lights settle down, you should see internet connectivity. Verify by browsing to dslreports. You should be able to run a speed test, and get the same results you had with your primary router.
8. So far, so good? Turn on one STB. Let it boot up and settle down. Remember the video from the ONT will not be affected by the router changes. Verify the data gets there by changing a channel to see the program data, or press Guide to show the program guide, or press Widgets or On Demand. Any of these actions with normal results will verify your system works.
Repeat step 8 until all TV devices are on and working. You will be able to see the device names in My Network on the Actiontec.
Hurray!!! Mission accomplished.
At any point that you need to reset devices, power up from the WAN inward. Example: if the STBs do not connect, power them off, then power off the router, then power up the router and when it has settled down, power up the STB. Likewise, if the router cannot get an internet connection, turn it off, reboot the ONT, then when it's settled down, power on the router. I have not had any problems with this setup. The only thing that the Actiontec is doing is feeding data to the STBs. Double-NAT will not affect them, at least not in any way I have been able to determine.
Do these steps, then connect your PC to your router, and leave the Actiontec alone. There isn't anything else you really need to do with it. If you had allowed Remote Administration, you can get to the Actiontec by going to whatever address your primary router assigned to the Actiontec. You would login and password the same as you have done previously. The Actiontec at this point is now doing the same thing a NIM-100 would do. It's on the LAN side of your primary router acting as a bridge from your router's ethernet to the coax.
You have now entered the world of non-standard installation. VZ tech support may say it's not supported. That's fine, now you know where to get assistance. This forum has been my first stop for a long time. If, at any time, you want to go back to a standard installation, release the IP from your new router, power it off, connect the Actiontec WAN to the ONT cat5, power it on and you're back to a standard installation. VZ will support that.
With thanks to More Fiber for assistance.
Please note: The feedback link below only to suggest improvements to this FAQ. If you have questions about this FAQ, please post them in our »Verizon FiOS Forum.